Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Aug.19, Lectionary 422. Ezekiel 36:23-28. Psalm
51:12-13.14-15.18-19.  Matthew 22:1-14.

Comforting and consoling messages or the warm greeting of a friend are
always welcome and today our prophet Ezekiel shows us this side of his
personality.  It is a peek at the heart of the prophet who brings some good
news to the people of Israel and to us who are believers that the words of
the Lord endure forever. Certainly, most of Ezekiel's life was bound up
with bringing that word of God to Israel and to everyone who believes in
the prophetic words of God as given in the Scriptures. Ezekiel's message is
one of encouraging renewal and returning to the loving-kindness and mercy
of God through the covenant which is meant for us.  Our hearts are being
cleansed with clear water (we think of our Baptism) and we are given a new
heart (we think of the human heart of Jesus which is described as being
meek and humble.  We are God's people. We have a sense of belonging to the
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

As is often the case, the above reading from Ezekiel is confirmed by his
own words as our Psalm response and the verses of the Psalm are the
Miserere or the Have Mercy on me, on us, O Lord.  We hear again from
Ezekiel who says, "I will pour clean water on you and wash away your
sins." (Ezek. 36:25). The great penitential psalm then tells us that the
presence of God and God's Spirit are with us.  We, therefore, experience
the joy of salvation.

Our parable in Matthew shows us the versatility of Jesus as he now puts the
story in the format of a wedding. A king has made a great wedding for his
son and his bride and many are invited, but some offer their flimsy excuses
and others are downright evil about the way the handle the king's servants
and even kill some.This neagative response to the king's R.S.V.P. enables
others who were not at first guests to come to the wedding.  And yet, here
is someone who has not the proper attire. This creates more tension for the
king who tells them to throw him out for he does not have a wedding garment
(symbol for baptism).  This is the final point of the parable namely that
all are welcome at the wedding banquet and at the table of the Lord and his

The Eucharist today offers us then some good texts to meditate upon our own
baptismal commitment and how that is the invitation to the wedding banquet
which is messianice.  Eucharist and Baptism are complementary and fulfill
each other just like justice and peace are said to kiss in one of the
Psalms.  Amen.